- 350g Strong white bread flour
- 150g Stoneground wholemeal flour
- ¼ t salt
- 1 T Brown sugar
- 3 T Malt Extract
- 2T Black Treacle
- 200g Dried Dates
- 14g Dried Yeast
- 2T Sunflower oil
- 250 ml Warm water (not hot)
- Chop the dates (large ones in quarters, small ones in half).
- Lightly sprinkle with a bit of flour and coat the dates with the flour (this prevents them from sticking together).
- Place dry ingredients in a large bowl, being initially careful to keep salt and yeast separate. Mix dry ingredients together well.
- Add the malt extract, black treacle and oil, mix together.
- Add the dates and then slowly add the water to the mixture.
- Fold the mixture over and in (not kneading, as that will squash the dates) for a few minutes until the mixture comes together.
- The mixture will be very wet and sticky - this is as it should be. Divide between 2 x 1lb. loaf tins. Smooth the tops with the back of a spoon.
- Cover and leave for approx. 3 - 3 ½ hours or until doubled in size.
- Place in the pre-heated oven at 170C fan.
- Bake for 35 minutes until the loaf has a deep brown texture.
- Remove from the oven and from the tins. Place on a rack to cool (with a tray underneath to catch any drips from the malt extract).
- Smooth a teaspoon of malt extract over the tops of the hot loaves with the back of the spoon.
- Leave to cool for at least one hour before eating. Serve sliced, with butter.
Hints:Very lightly coat the tablespoon measure with oil before measuring the treacle and malt extract, this will allow it to drop off the spoon easily.
You could use honey instead of malt extract on top of the loaf for a different taste,although it does remain more sticky.
Dates are an excellent source of dietary fibre (for gut health, helping to reduce cholestrol and lowering the risk of heart disease). Dates also contain minerals, especially potassium and magnesium; and are a good source of Vit.B6. Dates provide a great energy boost.
Malt extract contains B Vitamins and minerals such as iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus.
Black Treacle (Molasses)
Black treacle or molasses is a rich source of calcium (for bone health) and iron (for healthy blood and transporting oxygen around the body). Molasses provides good amounts of magnesium (for transmission of nerve impulses, bone and heart health).
It also contains other minerals such as potassium, manganese, copper and zinc. Molasses is a good source of natural carbohydrates.